Feb. 12, 2019, WICHITA, Kan. – Seventeen Machinists Union members at FlightSafety Services Corp. (FSSC) on McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita began a strike at 6 a.m. on Feb. 12. The members (IAM District 70, Local 708) provide quality training for Air Force pilots and refuel boom operators and maintain flight simulators for the Air Force’s newest high-tech refuel aircraft, the KC-46 Pegasus.
The 17 Machinists Union members voted 100 percent to strike and to reject the company’s offer.
“The machinists on strike at Local Lodge 708 in Kansas have the full support of the IAMAW,” said IAM’s Southern Territory General Vice President Rickey Wallace. “These members deserve to be paid fairly for a job that exceeds expectations in helping to provide for the U.S. military. It is a shame that we have to go out on strike to get these hard-working men and women what they deserve.”
The main reason the membership voted to strike was the omission of language in the company’s last, best and final offer that would designate this group as part of the Service Contract Act or SCA, a government rule which requires contractors and subcontractors to pay area wages and benefits that are determined by the government. Without such a designation, the IAM members at McConnell AFB, who take care of the men and women that fight for this Country, are paid 45 percent less than their counterparts working in the same industry.
“Our members of Local Lodge 708 have voted to implement their rights as union members to begin an Unfair Labor Practice strike against Flight Safety Services (FSSC),” said Tyson Kelly, District 70 Business Representative and negotiating team member. “Our members deserve to have the protections of the Service Contract Act like the hundreds of other contracts across the nation that do similar or the same type of work. These industrious men and women deserve to be protected and be able to take care of their families, as they have done for our U.S. military brothers and sisters. Our members love what they do and the services they provide to this great nation and want to keep doing it for decades to come,”
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) was established in 1888 and today has nearly 600,000 active and retired members throughout North America. The IAM is one of the largest and most diverse labor unions in the world and is a leader in the aerospace industry.